US 3828374 A
A two-level berth structure for use on ships or the like including a counterbalanced upper bunk mounted on a pivot having a torsion spring secured thereto. The pivot is rearward of the longitudinal centerline of the bunk such that the normal position i.e. the position reached by gravitational force would be down or horizontal. The lower portion of the bunk is hinged at the afteredge, when the upper bunk is raised to its vertical position the hinged portion swings downwardly to form a back supporting rest for an individual seated on the lower bunk. Movement of the upper bunk to the vertical position not only provides a back support but also provides ample clearance for the individual's upper torso.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Del Missier [451 Aug. 13,1974
1 1 CONVERTIBLE BERTH  Inventor: Richard J. Del Missier, Seattle,
 Assignee: Tri-Way Industries, Inc., Seattle,
 Filed: Dec. 21, 1972  Appl. No.: 317,414
 US. Cl. 5/9 B, 5/118  Int. Cl. A47c 17/40  Field of Search 5/8, 9 R, 9 B, 118, 37 C  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,002,198 10/1961 Kaiser, Jr. 5/37 C 3,311,932 4/1967 Ahola 5/9 R 3,353,861 11/1967 Froitzheim et a1 5/118 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 821,313 10/1959 Great Britain 5/9 R Primary ExaminerCasmir A. Nunberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Seed, Berry, Vernon & Baynham  ABSTRACT A two-level berth structure for use on ships or the like including a counterbalanced upper bunk mounted on a pivot having a torsion spring secured thereto. The pivot is rearward of the longitudinal centerline of the bunk such that the normal position i.e. the position reached by gravitational force would be down or horizontal. The lower portion of the bunk is hinged at the afteredge, when the upper bunk is raised to its vertical position the hinged portion swings downwardly to form a back supporting rest for an individual seated on the lower bunk. Movement of the upper bunk to the vertical position not only provides a back support but also provides ample clearance for the individuals upper torso.
4 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures a 1 r w 1. Iv ,4 I E 4 3 1 k4 hhzsg l L''1ll a $3 6 ll l8 7 q 1. 7
1 2O 4 F 3 I I CONVERTIBLE BERTH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The cabin of ships as well as many other locations primarily connected with travel are of necessity quite small. The small size is necessary to capitalize upon available space, but it is also necessary to provide reasonably comfortable accommodations for the individuals involved. Toaccomplish the desired result it is particularly necessary to have a berth structure which is usable not only as a sleeping facility but also is readily convertible to a place for sitting or lounging. The convertible unit must be comfortable as well as being simple to convert. I
In the past there have been many attempts to take a doubledeck berth and convert it into a seating arrangement by pivoting the upper berth at its central portion such that it will form a backrest for the lower bunk. Prior constructions have suffered from inadequacies in that the back support was approximately vertical, thus being very uncomfortable, or was located against the backwall of the berth structure creating an abnormally long distance between the front of the berth and the back, making it extremely uncomfortable. Another deficiency of the prior art convertible berth structures lies in the fact that since a fair amount of weight is involved to assure adequate strength it was an extremely strenuous job to move the berth from its sleeping position to its back support position or vice versa.
As in the case of any structure which is convertible, there has been in the past, a lack of secure fastenings such that the berth was not completely stable in either its sleeping or its back supporting position thereby rendering the structure somewhat dangerous.
With the above noted prior art and problems in mind it is an object of the present invention to provide a convertible berth wherein the berth is stable and completely safe whether in its horizontal sleeping position or in its upright backrest position.
Another object of the invention is to provide a double deck berth with a unique means for converting the upper berth to a back support for a person resting upon the lower berth.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a double berth structure wherein the lower portion of the upper berth serves as a comfortable back support for a person seated upon the lower berth.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a convertible berth wherein the upper of a pair of vertically stacked berths is pivotal along an axis rearward of the center, swings to a vertical position whereat it is locked and the rear portion of the upper bunk then pivots forwardly to form a sloping back support for a person sitting upon the lower bunk.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a berth unit such as would be supplied for ships or the like.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 showing the possible positions of the upper berth.
FIG. 3 is an elongated sectional view along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2 showing the torsion spring to assist in bunk movement.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view showing the means for providing a stable back support for the person seated upon the lower bunk.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the plate secured to the end wall which provides both a location means for the pivot point as well as locking holes for assuring the bunk is stable in its horizontal or its vertical position.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view along lines 6-6 of FIG. 5 showing the positive action locking mechanism.
FIG. 7 is a schematic view of the latch operating mechanism permitting the operator to unlatch the bunk from either side of the upper bunk.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS As seen in FIG. 1, the berth unit comprises a pair of parallel vertical end walls 2 interconnected at the upper portion by a ceiling unit 4 and at the back by a vertical wall 6. The lower portion of the unit is interconnected by frame member 8 which also serves as a support for the lower berth 10. Light units 12 may be provided at the head of each of the berths for the convenience of the users.
The upper berth 14 is supported by a framework 16 which is pivotable about an axis 18 to a horizontal position as shown in phantom. The means whereby the berth is pivotable from the horizontal position to the vertical position will be explained in greater detail hereinafter.
As seen in FIG. 2, the upper berth 14 includes the frame 16, as noted above, which is movable from a horizontal position whereat it rests against stops 20 and 23 to a vertical position as shown in phantom where it stops against mechanical stop 22. As noted above the berth is capable of being pivoted about a pivot point 18 which serves, to be explained hereinafter, as a counterbalancing element as well as the pivot.
The rear portion of the framework 16 includes a hidden cushion section 24 which is hinged about a point at the rearwardmost portion of the framework and is locked into position as shown in solid in FIG. 2 wherein the backing 26 forms a portion of the bottom of the berth 14. When in the open position, as seen in phan-,
tom, the back portion 26 swings downwardly and rests against stop 28 and the cushion portion 24 faces forwardly at a slope to provide a most comfortable backrest for a person sitting upon the berth 10.
Referring now to FIG. 3 it can be seen that each end of the upper berth is the pivot 18 which includes a horizontally disposed shaft 30 which is secured to the framework 16 by means of a bolt 32 and extends through the wall 2. Surrounding the shaft 30 is a compression spring 34 which is secured to the shaft as well as to a relatively fixed element whereby movement of the bunk from its horizontal to its vertical position will wind the spring 34 thereby generating a returning torque. The spring 34 is surrounded by a flanged sleeve 36 which is secured to the wall 2 and the outermost portion of the sleeve 36 is closed by cap means 38.
Referring now to FIG. 4, the after portion of the upper berth is shown in greater detail and it can be seen that the outer rectangular framework 16 surrounds a generally planar bottom portion 40 which serves to support the mattress for the upper berth. The entire framework is pivoted about a point 18 as noted hereinabove and includes as a portion of its lower rear the hidden back support including a cushion 24 and a supporting, rigidifying structure 26 which includes frame members 42, reinforcing member 44, and cushion supporting planar means 46.
As seen in this view the frame member 42 provides a support for a hinged means 46 which interconnects the back support cushion with the downwardly extending portion 16 of the upper berth frame. The unhinged edge of the back support cushion is held in place by any one of a number of means although the preferable method is by means of a spring biased slide bolt 50.
Referring now to FIG. 5, the positive locking mechanism, which is used in conjunction with stops 20, 22 and 23 to retain the bunk in either its horizontal or its vertical position, may most readily be seen. A steel plate 52 secured to each of the walls 2 includes a first hole 54 for locking the bunk in the vertical position and a second hole 56 (see FIG. 6) for locking the bunk in the horizontal position. As shown in FIG. 5, the hole 56 is hidden by the locking mechanism to be described in detail hereinafter. Referring now to a combination of FlGS. and 6, the positive locking mechanism includes a spring biased outwardly projecting shaft 58 which is mounted by bracket 60 beneath horizontal element 40 and passes through the lower portion of frame 16 to extend through plate 52 and wall 2. The shaft 58 is biased in an outward direction by means of compression spring 62 which is captured between washer 64, held in place by roll pin 66, and frame 60. Shaft 58 is prevented from further outward movement by annular stopper 68 secured to shaft 58 which abuts lower part of bracket 60. The inner portion of the locking mecha nism includes a flat attaching projection 70.
Referring now to FIG. 7 the unlatching mechanism is schematically shown. The particular mechanism permits unlatching from either side so that it is unlatched from the front when the bunk is in a horizontal position and from the bottom or rear when the bunk is in the vertical position. The operating mechanism comprises a handle at either side interconnected with a link 74 to a lazy-Susan type mechanism 76 such that when the handles 72 are pulled outwardly the mechanism compresses pulling longitudinal rods 78 which are interconnected with the portion 70 of the locking mechanisms. Movement of the handles 72 thus pull the locking mechanisms out of the wall permitting movement of the bunk from the horizontal to the vertical position or vice versa.
Thus, it can be seen that the present invention provides a readily convertible bunk mechanism for use on ships and the like wherein the upper bunk may be readily and easily converted from a horizontal sleeping position to a vertical back supporting position. The bottom portion of the upper berth is made up of a hidden cushion which, when the bunk is in the horizontal position, is locked in a hidden compartment and when the bunk is in a vertical position is swung outwardly and downwardly and provides a back support for the person sitting in the lower bunk. The pivotal point for the upper berth is aft of the center such that if the locking mechanism fails to lock, although it is a positive lock, the chances of a person lying on the upper berth causing it to tip is very slight. The bunk upper berth includes positive locks and positive mechanical stops at such positions, thus assuring a completely safe mechanism.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. An upper and lower sleeping berth structure wherein said upper berth includes a rectangular frame pivotally supported and adapted to pivot from a horizontal position to a vertical position, vertically disposed berth supporting means adjacent opposite ends of the frame, means on opposite ends of said frame pivotally supporting the frame on said supporting means intermediate the sides of the frame, locking means associated with said frame for releasably retaining said frame in either a horizontal or vertical position, said frame including a mattress supporting surface positioned within the sides and ends thereof and a bottom surface generally parallel with and spaced from said mattress supporting surface, an elongated opening in said bottom surface and extending between opposite ends of said frame, a closure panel for said opening hingedly secured to, said frame along a longitudinal edge of one of the sides thereof, said closure panel being adapted to swing from its bottom surface closing position to an angularly disposed position to form a backrest for the person seated on the lower sleeping berth.
2. A berth structure as in claim 1 wherein the upper berth is pivotally mounted on the berth supporting means at a point rearwardly of the longitudinal center line of said frame.
3. A berth structure as in claim 1 wherein the closure panel is upholstered upon its inner surface and the berth supporting means includes positive stops determining the angle of said closure panel when serving as a backrest.
4. A berth structure as in claim 1 wherein means is provided on the frame supporting means to urge the frame from a vertical position to a horizontal position.